Devotion for Friday, September 16th, 2011

27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27

My Commentary:

Today, James gives two more tests of authentic faith in God.

  • “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction”…- Visit here is speaking of spending time with, and ministering to orphans and widows.  James is saying that true faith in God is demonstrated when, out of pure motives, we help those who can not help themselves.  James speaks of two groups of people who when we help them most often can’t give us anything back in return.
  • “to keep himself unspotted from the world.”- world here is not speaking specifically of just people.  It is speaking of the world system.  In another part of the Bible it is described as the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”  Being unspotted here speaks of an inward purity, not simply an outward purity.  When we have faith in God, and we realize that the person whom we should desire to please most is God, then we realize that it is not enough just to look pure to those around us.  We realize that God sees and knows our hearts.  As we seek to please Him, we keep ourselves pure not just in the eyes of men, but in the eyes of God with his help.

Again, these are not ways for us to attain merit with God, or salvation.  These are simply marks of authentic faith in God.

Application:

Has there ever been a time in your life where you helped people who couldn’t possibly help you back?  Here is a better question- when was the last time you helped someone who needed it without any intention of getting something back from them?  Here is another question- How is your purity?  If God were to give a testimony of you, what would your reputation be with Him?  Would it be like Job?  (Check out Job 1)  Take some time to check yourself!

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15 thoughts on “James- Day 15

  1. The last time i helped someone with out needing anything back….well I can’t remember but I know I did, it was at a hospital but I can’t remember what I did, but one day there will be someone who needs some to help them and I will be there and I will do it happily and gladly. God wants us to help people in need not because your mom or anybody tells you to it’s because you want to do it and you only. I like this passage because Its saying to help the widows or the orpans for nothing in return 🙂

    1. Sometimes it is easier to do something for a complete stranger with no desire for something in return that it is for us to do something for our family or those who we are around all the time.

      Want to shock your mom? Go do something completely, unexpectedly nice for her today. I guess seeing her shock is something in return, but trust me…it’s fun!

  2. The last time I helped someone w/out getting anything back.. Was when I volunteered to pull weeds in some lady’s yard a couple of months ago. She was a older lady and couldn’t do much. So I was like I’ll pull ur weeds to make ur house look great. And after I was done she tried to give me money but I said no keep it. I don’t need ur money I just wanted to help u w/ ur yard! 🙂 and she said what a very nice young lady. I will never forget tht day cuz God put this woman in my life so I could do what he wants me to do w/ this lady! 🙂 I’m so glad I did help her! 🙂

  3. I help people all the time because I love helping people, and I never expect anything in return because I find joy in it, but I know I can definitely do it more often! &’i’m going to pray that God gives me the opportunity to help as many people as I can! The last time I helped someone without getting anything in return, was on Wednesday when I gave money to Clarissa. She needs money way more then I do!
    In Job chapter 2, verse 3, God defends Job to Satan because of how faithful Job was. “And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Job was an upright and perfect and helped others. He feared God and was noticed by Him. As I evaluate my testimony, I’m not positive God could say all that about me. I’ve disappointed Him many times before! I’ve finally found the road God has for my life and I’m living the life God has for me, but I still have a lot of improvement! Always more room to grow.
    This verse was a great encouragement and reminder! 🙂
    Praying God will help keep me on the narrow road and that He will give me strength and wisdom!
    Have a great friday everyone! See you tomorrow at the beach! 😀

  4. This is a pritty cool verse its saying to not do the things of the earth like the stuff you no is not right but you still want to do it we talked about this like a week ago about to not fallen in to diverse temptation. And im not sure if God where to give a testomony of me what would it be? But he still loves me!:)

  5. I don’t really remember the last time I helped someone without getting something in return, most of the time it’s like “I’ll do this for you if you do this for me.” Which isn’t always wrong, but it’s nice to help someone to just be nice! I hope I get a chance to help someone today, without asking for anything in return! It’s all for Gods glory! 🙂

  6. I think it’s cool that James says to help people who can’t help others. There are so many people who need others, like the orphan we are giving money to, Clarissa. Like Mel said, she needs the money more than we do, and sometimes i forget to bring in just a dollar for her! I want to be able to help more people out. The last time i helped someone was.. well, i kinda don’t remember the exact last time, but i try and help people a lot 🙂 Anytime someone needs help in the church, i volunteer to because i love being a help to someone. I like volunteering my time to stuff like that instead of using my time to benefit myself, like a sport, or a club at school. It makes me feel good inside, and pleases God which is what matters in life! I don’t expect anything in return because honestly, the feeling of just making the other person happy is worth it. I try to do everything to the honor and glory of God, and if it isn’t then i definitley question what i’m doing. If it’s for selfish reasons then i know its not right! My testimony if i were to be evaluated right now wouldn’t be perfect by any means. I screw up constantly, but i’m really trying to improve on my behavior and the way i think about other people. I want God to be proud of me when i get to Heaven, and i think it’s so cool that even when we make mistakes, God loves us anyways 🙂

  7. A couple of years ago I got the opportunity along w a friend to help a dying woman named Lena in our church. She needed a ride to walmart and when me and the girls brought her home we realized how badly she needed our help. Her home was really in need of attention (really bad) and she was in constant pain that was getting worse. For the next several weeks to months me and my friend Cecilia helped her with her house, made sure she was eating and had food in the house, stayed in contact with her family and friends who were out of town and didn’t really realize how bad she was. She continued to get worse to the point that she couldn’t get out of bed. Making sure she was saved was our top priority. Long story short, she ended up in hospice where Cecelia and i stayed by her bed holding her hand and gave her comfort as she died right there in front of us. I had never been through anything like that. It was a time that I definitely got to help someone who could literally not do anything in exchange. That was fine with me as I didn’t do it for something in return. There was no way this woman could take care of herself, it would have been irresponsible of me to turn my back and walk away. I believe God put me there to be a help to Lena. It felt really good to actually feel like I was helping someone and doing what God would want me to do. There are big ways we can serve and little ways. All are important to God

  8. The only time i really have done something like that is w/ my grandparents.If im like sleeping over or something,and i help out,they usually give me money.I really don’t need it but i don’t want 2 hurt their feelings.Like alexis said about if u do this i’ll give u this but its nice to do something 4 somebody and get nothing in return! Its the better thing 2 Do!! Besides,i like 2 help out w/ school and family because it helps everyone out and i love doing it!! 🙂 and i know it pleases God too!! 🙂 So,next time u do something for somebody or they ask u 2 do something,don’t be like “how much will i get paid”, or “when will i get paid”. Just do whats right and please the Lord!! 🙂 (and urself and that person who needs help!! 🙂 P.S.,my grandpa’s doing better! He got that stent thing taken out and doing a whole lot better! 🙂 Thanks 4 ALL of ur prayers! 🙂 Means alot!! 🙂 Luv u guys!! ❤

  9. It says it is more blessed to give than to recieve and that is deffinitley true, this passage also reminds me if that song by leeland, “i’ll follow you”. The songs about this verse and I think it is a very important part of our faith because by helping other people we can let Jesus live through us and show other people what He has done in our lives.

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